DICA Technologies Inc., a company dedicated to enhancing ISDN applications and services globally, presented a new product family of easy-to-use, affordable security tools for applications, such as telemedicine, tele-banking, videoconferencing, and other ISDN communications at this year's edition of the Supercomm exhibition. On the same occasion, the company also displayed its novel "IFRAD" ISDN-to-Frame Relay converter. With "IFRAD", customers are able to use frame relay to support ISDN applications, while service providers can deliver ISDN to remote areas via existing frame networks.
The new product family of encryptors consists of the DICA 9000 PRI Encryptor, the DICA 7800 BRI Encryptor and the DICA SecMan Security Management System. Used individually or in combination, these affordable and easy-to-use products provide end-to-end security for every type of ISDN-based communication. Frank Piepiorra, president of DICA Technologies Inc., explained that most users assume their ISDN-based calls to be totally secure because ISDN is digital, and as a result, is protected against eavesdropping, accidental interception, tampering, and other security problems. However, this is a misconception. Any information carried over an ISDN line, whether voice, video or data, is vulnerable. Therefore, companies have to take every reasonable precaution to protect it, according to DICA's president.
There are several benefits to using DICA Encryptors. First and foremost is the protection of private and sensitive information from unauthorized access. Second, DICA Encryptors help companies reduce the potential for corporate espionage. Third, the degree of trust offered by patients, clients, witnesses, financial customers and business partners can be significantly increased if they realize that the ISDN lines carrying information about them are secure. Fourth, the use of ISDN Encryptors will enhance an organization's ability to conform to applicable security regulations. In fact, many organizations can be held liable if they fail to provide security when the right tools to offer it are available. The DICA security family is able to reduce this kind of liability for communications carried by ISDN, as stated by Frank Piepiorra.
The first member of the new family of ISDN security products, the DCIA 9000 PRI Encryptor, offers a cost-efficient way to provide security for voice, data and video traffic transported over Primary Rate ISDN (PRI) networks. It can provide real time, end-to-end authentication on a B-channel by B-channel basis. The second member, the DICA 7800 BRI Encryptor, is the first Basic Rate ISDN (BRI) security device capable of working anywhere in the world. It provides real time, end-to-end authorization and encryption for a single BRI line. The DICA 9000 and 7800 Encryptors are "plug and play" devices which are installed between the ISDN application and the end user's ISDN interface.
All units have been pre-configured and can be implemented within minutes. Once installed, the devices automatically can encrypt outgoing and decrypt incoming transmissions. Visual indicators are provided to inform operators whether calls are secure or encrypted, whether non-secure or non-encrypted. Non-encrypted calls can be passed through the devices transparently. Next to this, a robust key management system is an important feature of all DICA Encryptors. Three security levels are offered, which are master key, user key and session key. Security is optimized with features, such as random key generation, encrypted key storage and support for remote key management. Users may choose between IDEA, DES, Triple DES or custom cryptographic algorithms.
In turn, DICA's SecMan Security Management enables large organizations to centralize the key management function for maximum security as well as efficiency. With SecMan, network managers can control all DICA encryption devices, no matter how many there are or where they are deployed, from a central location. This remote key management capability is quick, easy and virtually error-proof. It allows the network managers to change master keys quickly, easily and as often as is necessary to maintain maximum security for ISDN communications. Prices for the DICA 7800 BRI Encryptor and the DICA 9000 PRI Encryptor start at $1895 and $5995, respectively. The DICA SecMan Security Management system has a starting price of $2995 and will be available at the end of June 1999.
The "IFRAD" ISDN-to-Frame Relay converter makes it possible for customers to consolidate their wide area network infrastructures through conversion of ISDN voice, data, fax and video traffic onto frame relay. It also enables them to leverage their investment in videoconferencing systems and other ISDN-based end-user equipment that is often worth millions of dollars. By implementing DICA's "IFRAD" to provide ISDN locally via the company's existing frame relay network, it can protect an investment that is easily worth $1.000.000 or more. This benefit comes in addition to the cost savings associated with consolidating the company's ISDN traffic onto the frame relay network.
Not only does the "IFRAD" enable end users to consolidate ISDN traffic onto frame relay networks, it equally allows the telecommunications companies to deliver ISDN service to those regions where previously it has been impossible or impractical to do so. To do this, carriers simply install an IFRAD between their frame relay service and the customer's ISDN terminal equipment. This emulates an actual ISDN network connection, so customers can enjoy the full capabilities of ISDN for videoconferencing as well as other applications. No longer will the cost of installing switches in remote locations or the "distance barrier" prevent service providers from delivering the benefits of ISDN to their customers, as stated by Frank Piepiorra.
"IFRAD", when directly connected to the ISDN network, creates a frame relay-to-ISDN network gateway. This gateway enables frame users to place and receive calls as if they were attached to the global ISDN network directly. Operation is completely transparent to all end users. Neither those placing ISDN calls nor those receiving the calls are aware that their calls are being converted to frame relay. Prices for the ISDN-to-Frame Relay converter start at $1995. Delivery is due at the end of June 1999.